April Brings Exhibits!

March 29, 2015

I’ve been very busy!

Collage/assemblage with paper, paint, birch bark

Personal Maps #1: Breakthrough   Collage/assemblage with paper, paint, birch bark




April 6 – May 13 my collage/assemblage work will be featured at the Gallery at Towne Center in Lake Forest Park, WA.

Also April 16 – June 12 my jewelry work will be on display at the ArtsNow Gallery in the Edmonds Conference Center in Edmonds, WA.  The opening for this show will be April 16, 5-8 PM.



Collage/assemblage with paint, paper,

Gift to Life

Personal Maps #2: Symmetry

Personal Maps #2: Symmetry




Making a Video!

November 11, 2014

I know I have been rather quiet of late… I am in the midst of my wonderful, new project: teaching online for Craftsy.com. I have been in the pre-production phase for many weeks now. What does that mean? It involves creating a 7 part video first. The video comes down to figuring out what is important to teach, how to say it and show it as well as creating the pieces that show the methods on the way to the end result in at least 3 steps plus the finished piece: so think 4 pieces for each 'chapter' or segment. Wow. That's busy!

We film the video next week! I'm so excited to do this! But here is what happens as an artist: cycles of pure confidence in what I know and can teach but then…a crises of confidence: consuming nervous anticipation that I'll be a total flub on camera. It's crazy. Where does this come from? I know what I know. I can only be me. They can edit, stop, start, reshoot, edit and did I mention EDIT? BREATHE! It'll be fun. REEEEALLLLY!


Bead Fest Texas

March 31, 2014

It's been great fun teaching at Bead Fest Texas! Thanks to the students my classes were full of fun people with richly inquiring minds. I think we went in all directions at once! Two of the classes I taught were brand new ones and we had such a great time I can't wait to teach them again.

I wish I'd had time in the classes to get pictures of what everyone did with their new knowledge but we covered so much ground it was just not possible. Imagine polymer clay jewelry creations galore, interesting molds, resin pendants and components plus collaged metal patterned by flame, colored pencils, abrasion, alcohol inks, patina paints, hammers and whatever else we could think of to try! A total classroom of experimentation with a variety of materials for two days. Who could ask for more? I love seeing the wheels turning as my students expand their world into these adventures and I hope to see what they end up doing with their new skills. Thanks ya'll!!

I also can't wait to get my CraftOptics scopes! I have to get in to update my glasses prescription and then I'll send that info to CraftOptics. I'll have my pair in a week or so! It will be so great to see and not fuss around with trying to see some of the small stuff I'm working with. Check them out: http://www.craftoptics.com. Mine are going to be purple: anyone surprised by that?



Dreaming of Things to Come

October 25, 2012

I'm working away like mad making new jewelry for the show in Switzerland. My time is running short and of course life doesn't just stop when you have big things to do and little time to get them done. I got 4 contracts today – all of which need thorough reading and who knows what else. Then it occurs to me that I need to finish some things for one of the galleries that carries my work so they'll have it for holiday season. When it rains, it pours. This is one of those times when I remember the days when I didn't have my work anywhere, I wasn't working in any art related field, and I just dreamed of the day when I would be steeped in art every day in some way. Here I am! NO complaints! So what are the big dreams of things to come now?

Lately I've been daydreaming about a proper Jeweler's bench and dust extractor system. Weird, I know. But check these benches out!

I think I have bench lust though I like the bench I recently made and am using. I'm thrilled to be working in the studio after such a long hiatus. I can't wait to get home and get in there after work or on my days off. Right now it's late evening and I'm already looking forward to what I'll work on tomorrow. So what does that take? To get that excitement in doing your own work? I think getting out of your own way. The joy is in the doing. The more you do, the more intrigued you become. Make your work your priority and it all falls into place. So while I do have bench lust, wish for a bigger space to work in and all that I'm really dreaming of things to come: finishing the pieces on my bench so I can move on to those other pieces I have in my head!


So one would think that a jewelry maker would have some sort of anvil and a bench block or two, (which would be a steel block to hammer on)…yup. To make metal spread out requires hammering the piece of metal using some sort of steel hammer and hammering on a steel block. Now it seems like every time I turn around I see an anvil or bench block that makes me want to have it. What is up with that?

This last week I had the great good delight (something I try to have often), of setting up my bench. I've been hammering stuff on a bench block on my kitchen counter for years. When my tools weren't in use I tucked them away into tool bags and drawers, making it a hassle to find what I need at any given moment, sucking time looking for things instead of working. This was okay before and after my arm was reconstructed a couple of years ago because I couldn't really do that sort of work anyway. But once I found I could hammer some metal again it was time to get things set up properly and get to work again. As I was arranging my bench and places for my tools I kept finding bench blocks and anvils! It was hilarious. Some are small, some bigger, some really heavy, some are light for traveling, some are like mini anvils. I think I've been collecting them and dreaming about using them or something, saving them for the day when I could. But not five minutes ago I saw a lovely bench block and actually thought I wanted it. Then I started counting what I already have. I think 12 or thereabouts is enough, don't you?

Below is a picture of where I put things together. Everything red or orangey is flame painted copper. Most black components are polymer clay or blued steel. Bottom left is aluminum (holey) and next to that is polymer veneer with sequins in it. There are some woven wire pieces here as well as pendants waiting to be combined with components and finished for hanging. The triangle with tabs in the center is actually flame painted copper, too.


The finished pendant at right is the same one seen in the picture of my work table on the right. From front to back there is a charm I made from a radial polishing wheel (light green), behind that a triangle of polymer clay, a swinging spiral of red brass wire is under wheel charm, under the spiral is a vertical of patina'd steel shim (steel blue that looks black here), that has a vine pattern applied to it and everything is backed by black polymer clay. It's the first of my House series.

Molded Resin is Fun!

July 19, 2012

I have been working on a new series of jewelry that brings together resin, my polymer veneers, collage, resin paper, mica, glitter, metal and my etched metal pieces. I think of it as jewelry that speaks… This is the first pendant in the series.

This picture is linked to the Bead Fest Philadelphia website because my class there in August, 'Out of the Box with Resin', is all about creating things like this pendant. This piece was not sanded in any way!

Another fun thing about jewelry like this is it changes how it looks depending on what you're wearing behind it. The translucency communicates what's behind it. This is the sort of thing I love when traveling. I can wear it with different clothes and people think it's a new and different piece of jewelry every time! Check it out on blue….


Bead Fest Texas

October 23, 2011

I have written about 4 blogs that have disappeared. Technology sometimes doesn’t quite catch up to what we expect. I’ll see if I can fix this glitch with blogging from an iPad. Who knows, it may be fixed now…

I’ve never spent any time in Texas except for the occasional layover. There has been a gorgeous sunset every night. And last night around 2:30 a.m. there was a T storm as forecast on TV just before I conked out for the night. I wondered why it would require a warning at the bottom of the TV screen. Now I know. Think of this: I was in the classroom yesterday from 8:30 a.m. To 8:30 p.m. (actually 9 pm), with one 7.5 hour class and an evening 3 hour class. Was I tired? Oh yeah. Consider that breakfast yesterday was a packet of instant oatmeal, some almonds and coffee out of a can. Lunch was a small tin of tuna, rice crackers and an apple and dinner was a foil pack of salmon and more rice crackers with a couple of pieces of chocolate and 30 students in one day later… Yeah, you could say I was tired. Well, that T storm woke me up in the middle of the night. I didn’t think it could be done but it really sounded like a giant had a car with his muffler dragging on the ground. That wasn’t as fun as how I woke up yesterday before the 12 hour class marathon: I woke up laughing. Now wasn’t that a good thing before such a long day!
Okay, gotta go! I have another class all day today. Just hope I can make sense come this afternoon. Have a great day!

A website online is holding a digital exhibition of jewelry art. The display includes artists from all around the world and there are 240 some odd pictures. The designs are diverse and cover a lot of ground as far as materials go. I think some of the Swedish and Finn designs are very interesting. They’re very different than what were used to here in the U. S.

Some of the more interesting uses of different materials include an artist from the US named Sarah West. She’s working with celluloid and filmstrips as well as paper. Her jewelry is very unusual. Another artist, Sarah Kelly, from the UK makes jewelry from paper. She has some lovely designs. Included in the display is an artist from Turkey with very different ideas about jewelry design and materials. This artist is making jewelry from drinking straws which I find just wonderful. Many of the patterns remind me of the kaleidoscope and yet they’re made from straws. Judy Freyer Thompson, a well-known jewelry artist has many pieces on display and are worth seeing. The website is called Ganoksin and the exhibit, (Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder) can be seen at http://www.ganoksin.com/exhibition/v/beb/?g2_page=22 .

If you don’t know about http://www.ganoksin.com then let me tell you that it’s a nonprofit resource for people who make jewelry and work in metal. But it’s more than that. If you surf around the website a little bit you’ll find that there is a lot of resources for artists. They have all sorts of articles about how to market your work for example. You will also find that they have a lot of articles about how to deal with different materials, displaying your work, getting your work photographed, and the biggest subject of all: pricing. I found this website to be a great resource.

I hope you take some time to go look and see what artists all around the world are doing. I think it’s worth it just to study different design some composition even though it’s jewelry art. It’s also interesting to see how many different materials are being used. I think you can see the different aesthetic between countries and cultures in a display like this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please feel free to post your comments here. It would be interesting to see what people think. Enjoy!

My New Rings

June 16, 2011

Fooled you! This is ALL polymer clay. I applied a patina from 'Faux Finishes', something my friend Nan Robkin has been teaching at ArtWorks.

I thought I would show you some of the new rings that I’ve made.  I’m still working on gaining hand strength and fine motor control but at least I’m doing something!  It’s all part of the process of relearning how I can do things so it’s all good, (for those that may not know I had my arm/wrist reconstructed in Sept.).

I fell in love with these petal shapes. Polymer clay and etched metal stack ring.


I’ve been taking etched metal components and polymer elements and combining them together with bronze wire.  Or just putting together polymer elements.  I’m having fun just making the parts and then collaging them together later.  It’s fun to see what goes with what in different combinations and how they feel.

I’m teaching this class about making these rings at the new Schack Arts Center in Everett, WA this Fall.

Polymer clay stack ring. I love this...

Bead Fest Philadelphia

June 14, 2011

Bead Fest Philly is August 19-21.  I can’t wait!  I love this event.  I always find a new tool, learn some new thing and see great art jewelry made by students and instructors alike.  This time my friend, Bea Grob, is coming from Switzerland and rooming with me.  We always end up taking one evening and making stuff.  In Tucson in Feb. we worked on resin jewelry in our hotel room.  I don’t know what we’ll pounce on this trip but I’ll try to remember to post some pictures afterwards.

Bea is creating a very cool mixed media retreat that will be in Bauma, Switzerland in 2012.   So far, wire jewelry artist Dale Cougar Armstrong  and I have signed up to teach and things are percolating!

Bauma is about 40 minutes from Zurich and is a lovely village of almost 6,000.  I fell in love with the charm and beauty of the place in every building, the river meandering on one side and the incredible second hand stores in the area.   It was the first time I had ever seen a train that makes no noise, (electric trains).  This should be a great event so stay tuned!

For more info about these places and events:

Bead Fest:  www.beadfest.com

Bauma, Switzerland: